Know why you are Studying:
Concentration always follows interest. Most of us study because we have to and feel no interest in our studies. But once you realize that studying well will help you get good grades, gain recognition, and make it much easier for you to succeed in life, you will feel interest in your studies. So every day before you sit down to your table, think of what you are going to study and why. This will help you have interest in your studies.
Practice the Two- minute Concentration Exercise:
This simple technique will help you improve your concentration. Put a clock with a second hand in front of you. Keep your eyes on the second hand for two minutes. Count the number of times your mind has wandered away from the clock in these two minutes. In the beginning, this number might be quite high. Your mind might wander away 25 times or more. But if you practice regularly, a time will come when your mind won’t wander a single time in the two minutes. Because every time it wanders you are bringing it back to the desired object. So keeping your attention on one thing will become a habit.
Do This Before You Start Studying:
Before you start studying, do the following exercise to zero-in your attention on your studies.
Sit comfortably in your chair so that you don’t need to move for a while. Take a pencil or pen. Now take a long breath and tell yourself, “I am going to draw a spiral with my pen/pencil. As soon as I reach the center of the spiral my mind will be free from all extraneous thoughts. I am now going to study … (mention what you are going to study). Whatever I study will be totally engrained in my mind. I will be able to recall it completely and express it effectively both orally and in writing whenever I want to.” Now start drawing a spiral like the one above. Draw the lines in a way that they don’t touch each other. As soon as the pen or pencil reaches the center, you will feel that your mind has detached from all extraneous thoughts and is focused on your object of study. If you practice regularly in this way, you will be able to concentrate on your studies in a second.
Plan Your Study:
- Before you sit down to study, know exactly what you are going to study, how much and in what order. This will minimize the possibility of worrying about other assignments when you are working on a particular one.
- Keep some diversity in the subjects.
- Keep time for short breaks in between. For example, you may take five-minute breaks after every 50 minutes of study. But be careful not to start anything during these breaks, such as watching TV or checking email, which may take two hours instead of five minutes.
- Everyone has his own biorhythm. Notice at what times during the day – in the morning, afternoon or night – you are most alert and creative. For most students that might be early morning. For others it might be late at night. Keep the most difficult or monotonous subjects for those times. It will be easier to concentrate, and your studies will gain new speed.
Have the Correct Posture:
Your body posture actually has some influence on your level of concentration. Sit on a chair with your back straight. Make sure your feet touch the floor. Try not to move too much. Keep a distance of at least two feet between your eyes and your study material.
Create a Positive Learning Environment:
- Put your desk against the wall so that you face a wall when you study to decrease distractions.
- Put all pictures, mementos, and decorations on the other side of the room so that they don’t distract you from your work.
- Don’t use your desk for anything but studying; by the same token, don’t use your bed for studying – establishing habits will make concentration easier.
- Only use your computer for assignments that you are working on. If your computer has to be on, but you don’t need the internet, unplug the connector and/or disable your wireless.
- Turn off the ringer on your phone(s) and turn down the volume on the answering machine.
- Establish times with your roommates for studying to ensure peace and quiet.
- Turn off the television or stereo – only listen to light, familiar music if you need background noise.
- Study in a well-lit area.
- If people are too loud for you to concentrate, try asking them to be quieter.
- Do not start any incomplete work just before you study. Do not let the thought of any incomplete work distract you. If necessary, make a to-do list. But do not delay your study session.
Find spaces where you can be the most focused and productive. Study in the same place and at the same time every day. Do not use your study table for any other purpose. Your body and mind will become conditioned to studying. You will find it easy to concentrate in that place and time.
Do Not Waste Time Staring at the Book When You Cannot Concentrate:
If your mind begins to wander in the middle of your studies, do not keep staring at the book. Instead, stand up, but don’t leave the room. If you practice this several times, you will find that your mind is not wandering as much.
Reward Yourself for Fulfilling Your Target:
If you were able to finish studying everything you wanted, reward yourself, even if in a small way.
The best way to improve your concentration is to meditate. Meditation frees our mind from regrets about the past and worries about the future and brings it completely to the present.
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